Alabama governor touches off controversy with Christian comments
January 18th, 2011
05:25 PM ET

Alabama governor touches off controversy with Christian comments

Alabama Republican Gov. Robert Bentley is kicking off his first term in office with a bit of controversy, telling a church audience Monday that he only considers Christians to be his "brothers and sisters."

"Now I will have to say that, if we don't have the same daddy, we're not brothers and sisters," he told parishioners at a Baptist church in Montgomery Monday shortly after being sworn in. "So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother."

"There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit," Bentley also said, according to the Birmingham News. "But if you have been adopted in God's family like I have, and like you have if you're a Christian and if you're saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister."

Read the full story here from CNN's Political Ticker.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Politics • United States

soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. John

    Mobile Shelving

    January 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  2. Fearless

    Jesus Christ would not apologize or even consider apologizing to any of you God hating atheists or God hating liberals...as a matter of fact He does not care one cotton bit if your coddled feelings get hurt when a Christian quotes His Word....Jesus Christ was the original "Preacher"!!!

    And as it was in His time so it is today...the God hating radicals, extremists and religious of His time hated him and sought to shut Him up because He refused to conform to their logic and twisted world view of what He the God of the entire universe should become. I'm so glad He loved humanity enough to give up His life for me.

    Likewise as Christians we will never conform to this worlds perverted world view or its ideas, we will never shut up and we will never give up!!!

    January 23, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  3. mitzi smith

    As a Christian whom believes God created us all in God's image, all human beings are my brothers and sisters. Check out my blog at womanistntprof.blogspot.com

    January 21, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  4. SLS

    These comments by Gov. Robert Bentley just reflect a concern about the souls of the people he will be serving. President Carter years ago spoke about being "born again" politics and the media would have destroyed him today. We the American people are all FELLOW Americans. So those fellow Americans that are Jews are brothers and sisters of one faith family, those those fellow Americans that are Islam are brothers and sisters of one faith family, and those fellow Americans that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are another faith family.
    It is you the media that is dividing the UNITED States of America.

    January 21, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  5. american me

    I'll never understand why Rethuglican, conservative, right-wing, religious fanatics think they can force other normal people to accept their deviant views and lifestyle. They love to tell other people how to live their lives, while their own lives are in shambles. The Christian (esp. Catholic, Mormon, Evangelical, and Southern Baptist) Taliban in this country are going to face a violent wake up call soon if they keep trying to spread their hatred, intolerant views and actions on normal Americans.

    January 21, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  6. Muneef

    Al-E-Imran sura 03:
    Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah. And if the People of the Scripture had believed it had been better for them. Some of them are believers; but most of them are evil-livers. (110) They will not harm you save a trifling hurt, and if they fight against you they will turn and flee. And afterward they will not be helped. (111) Ignominy shall be their portion wheresoever they are found save (where they grasp) a rope from Allah and a rope from men. They have incurred anger from their Lord, and wretchedness is laid upon them. That is because they used to disbelieve the revelations of Allah, and s-lew the prophets wrongfully. That is because they were rebe-lli-ous and used to transgress. (112) They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of Allah in the night season, falling prostrate (before Him). (113) They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency, and vie one with another in good works. These are of the righteous. (114) And whatever good they do, they will not be denied the meed thereof. Allah is Aware of those who ward off (evil). (115) Lo! the riches and the progeny of those who disbelieve will not avail them aught against Allah; and such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (116).

    January 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Fearless

      Don't quote a 7th century false religion to us we are pretty much aware that its followers are a backward cave dwelling cancer that is a blot upon the earth, Mohamed was a child raping murdering illiterate sodomite.

      January 23, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  7. Muneef

    Al-Maeda sura 05:
    O ye who believe! Whoso of you becometh a renegade from his religion, (know that in his stead) Allah will bring a people whom He loveth and who love Him, humble toward believers, stern toward disbelievers, striving in the way of Allah, and fearing not the blame of any blamer. Such is the grace of Allah which He giveth unto whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (54) Your friend can be only Allah; and His messenger and those who believe, who establish worship and pay the poordue, and bow down (in prayer). (55) And whoso taketh Allah and His messenger and those who believe for friend (will know that), lo! the party of Allah, they are the victorious. (56) O Ye who believe! Choose not for friend such of those who received the Scripture before you, and of the disbelievers, as make a jest and sport of your religion. But keep your duty to Allah if ye are true believers. (57) And when ye call to prayer they take it for a jest and sport. That is because they are a folk who understand not. (58) Say: O People of the Scripture! Do ye blame us for aught else than that we believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed aforetime, and because most of you are evil-livers? (59) Shall I tell thee of a worse (case) than theirs for retribution with Allah? Worse (is the case of him) whom Allah hath cursed, him on whom His wrath hath fallen ! Worese is he of whose sort Allah hath turned some to apes and swine, and who serveth idols. Such are in worse plight and further astray from the plain road. (60) When they come unto you (Muslims), they say: We believe; but they came in unbelief and they went out in the same; and Allah knoweth best what they were hiding. (61) And thou seest many of them vying one with another in sin and transgression and their devouring of illicit gain. Verily evil is what they do. (62) Why do not the rabbis and the priests forbid their evil-speaking and their devouring of illicit gain? Verily evil is their handiwork. (63) The Jews say: Allah's hand is fettered. Their hands are fettered and they are accursed for saying so. Nay, but both His hands are spread out wide in bounty. He bestoweth as He will. That which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them, and We have cast among them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection. As often as they light a fire for war, Allah extinguisheth it. Their effort is for corruption in the land, and Allah loveth not corrupters. (64) If only the People of the Scripture would believe and ward off (evil), surely We should remit their sins from them and surely We should bring them into Gardens of Delight. (65) If they had observed the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them there are people who are moderate, but many of them are of evil conduct. (66) O Messenger! Make known that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord, for if thou do it not, thou wilt not have conveyed His message. Allah will protect thee from mankind. Lo! Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk. (67) Say O People of the Scripture! Ye have naught (of guidance) till ye observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto you from your Lord. That which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them. But grieve not for the disbelieving folk. (68) Lo! those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Sabaeans, and Christians – Whosoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right – there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (69) We made a covenant of old with the Children of Israel and We sent unto them messengers. As often as a messenger came unto them with that which their souls desired not (they became rebellious). Some (of them) they denied and some they slew. (70) They thought no harm would come of it, so they were wilfully blind and deaf. And afterward Allah turned (in mercy) toward them. Now (even after that) are many of them wilfully blind and deaf. Allah is Seer of what they do. (71) They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers. (72) They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three; when there is no God save the One God. If they desist not from so saying a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve. (73) Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (74) The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away! (75).

    January 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  8. Muneef

    Al-Baqara sura 02:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (unto them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed. And only those unto whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come unto them, through hatred one of another. And Allah by His Will guided those who believe unto the truth of that concerning which they differed. Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path. (213).

    Al-E-Imran sura 03:
    And there may spring from you a nation who invite to goodness, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency. Such are they who are successful. (104).

    Al-Maeda sura 05:
    And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires away from the truth which hath come unto thee. For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto Allah ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ. (48) So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires, but beware of them lest they seduce thee from some part of that which Allah hath revealed unto thee. And if they turn away, then know that Allah's Will is to smite them for some sin of theirs. Lo! many of mankind are evil-livers. (49) Is it a judgment of the time of (pagan) ignorance that they are seeking? Who is better than Allah for judgment to a people who have certainty (in their belief)? (50).

    January 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  9. Samantha

    I knew this would happen when he was elected governor. I did not vote for him. I'm an Alabamian and I have continually been embarassed by our governors. Seems like they get their support from south Alabama. I hope that people from other parts of the country do realize that there are some good people down here who did not vote for him and who are diverse in their religious beliefs and not only accept but embrace our friends from the Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and other religious traditions. Sounds like he is telling the people in his church that his statement was meant for their ears only while telling the media that he is sorry. OMG...how can we get rid of him now before he does any further harm. We in Alabama hate it that we are perceived as backward idiots for electing someone like him...as I said I did not vote for him. Looks like here we go again....George Wallace must be having a good laugh at the irony.

    January 20, 2011 at 11:36 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.